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The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Tuesday, August 16, 2005

World U-21 Championships Final: Lithuania-Greece
By Jonathan Givony

by href=/profile//> Dimitris href=/profile//> Ritsonis

After href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> dramatic href=/profile//> Final, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> closest href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> we’ve href=/profile//> seen href=/profile//> over href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> past href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> years, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> U-21 href=/profile//> National href=/profile//> Team href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> crowned href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> World href=/profile//> Champions, href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> defeating href=/profile//> Greece href=/profile//> 65-63. href=/profile//>

It href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> obviously href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> impressive href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> tournament, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> clear href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Greece, href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> groups href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> players href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> team-oriented href=/profile//> mentality, href=/profile//> would href=/profile//> want href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> impose href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> tempo href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> beginning href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> Lithuania, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> run-and-gun href=/profile//> team, href=/profile//> started href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> leading href=/profile//> 5-0, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> Panagiotis href=/profile//> Vassilopoulos, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> charismatic href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> athletic href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> SF href=/profile//> scored href=/profile//> seven href=/profile//> straight href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> give href=/profile//> Greece href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> lead. href=/profile//>

The href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> so href=/profile//> tight href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> none href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> teams href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> take href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> lead href=/profile//> larger href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> 5 href=/profile//> points. href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> "annoying" href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> unexpected href=/profile//> threes, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> Greece href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> zone href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> score href=/profile//> via href=/profile//> fast href=/profile//> breaks, href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> via href=/profile//> Vassilopoulos' href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Loukas href=/profile//> Mavrokefalidis' href=/profile//> inspirational href=/profile//> moments. href=/profile//>

Kostas href=/profile//> Vassiliadis, href=/profile//> Greece's href=/profile//> biggest href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> weapon href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> left href=/profile//> any href=/profile//> space href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> well href=/profile//> organized href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> D href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> 1 href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> 17 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> half. href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> using href=/profile//> shooters href=/profile//> Renaldas href=/profile//> Seibutis, href=/profile//> Steponas href=/profile//> Babrauskas href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Jonas href=/profile//> Maciulis href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> spread href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> defense, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> exceptional href=/profile//> success href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 3rd href=/profile//> quarter, href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> 10-0 href=/profile//> run href=/profile//> put href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> ahead href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rest href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//>

Mavrokefalidis' href=/profile//> fouls href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> tough href=/profile//> defensive href=/profile//> presence href=/profile//> exhausted href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> during href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> five href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> thus href=/profile//> Paulius href=/profile//> Jankunas href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Antanas href=/profile//> Kavaliauskas href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> grab href=/profile//> consecutive href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> numerous href=/profile//> occasions href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> keep href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Lithuanians href=/profile//> ahead href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> basket href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> two. href=/profile//>

Vassilopoulos href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> best href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Greeks, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> fatal href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> them href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> plays href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> First, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> missed href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> off-balance href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 30 href=/profile//> seconds href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> go href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> score href=/profile//> tied href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> 63. href=/profile//> Then, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> grabbed href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rebound, href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Lithuanians href=/profile//> missed href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 4.8 href=/profile//> seconds href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> go, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> stepped href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> process. href=/profile//> On href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> last href=/profile//> play, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> fouled href=/profile//> Seibutis href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> clock href=/profile//> expired. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> off-guard href=/profile//> made href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> two href=/profile//> free href=/profile//> throws href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> went href=/profile//> away href=/profile//> celebrating href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> hours. href=/profile//>

Seibutis, href=/profile//> Lithuania's href=/profile//> closest href=/profile//> thing href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> Arvydas href=/profile//> Macijauskas href=/profile//> since href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> “Kalashnikov” href=/profile//> himself, href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> voted href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> MVP href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> tournament. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> smooth href=/profile//> shooter href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> slasher, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> needs href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> add href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> bulk href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> gain href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> experience href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> play href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> contributing href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> year. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Europe href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> 6'5 href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> basketball href=/profile//> IQ href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> clearly href=/profile//> high, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> whether href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> enough href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> make href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> legit href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> prospect href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> yet href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> seen. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> leader href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> needed href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> teammates href=/profile//> trust href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> decision href=/profile//> making. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 14 href=/profile//> points. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> needs href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> work href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> defense, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> seems href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> step href=/profile//> slow href=/profile//> compared href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> American href=/profile//> counterparts, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> fine href=/profile//> passer href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> understands href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> well. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> crucial href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Olympiakos href=/profile//> next href=/profile//> year href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Greece. href=/profile//>

Jomantas, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> fair href=/profile//> candidate href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> finals href=/profile//> MVP, href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> present href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> crucial href=/profile//> moments href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 12 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 10 href=/profile//> boards. href=/profile//> Hardly href=/profile//> 6-8, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> mostly href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> PF href=/profile//> position href=/profile//> due href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> Lithuania's href=/profile//> overload href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> perimeter href=/profile//> players. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> SF href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> actuality, href=/profile//> though, href=/profile//> showing href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> array href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> intriguing href=/profile//> guard href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> make href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> somewhat href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> interesting href=/profile//> player, href=/profile//> despite href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> fact href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> lacking href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> prospect. href=/profile//> href=/profile//>

Babrauskas href=/profile//> scored href=/profile//> 10 href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> 14 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> early href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 3rd href=/profile//> quarter href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> help href=/profile//> Lithuania href=/profile//> protect href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> lead href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> important href=/profile//> part href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> A href=/profile//> streaky href=/profile//> shooter href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> future href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Europe, href=/profile//> Babrauskas href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> main href=/profile//> reasons href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> winners href=/profile//> outscored href=/profile//> Greece href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> lone href=/profile//> quarter href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> managed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> impose href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> run-and-gun href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> style href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> basketball. href=/profile//>

Vassilopoulos href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> included href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> tournament's href=/profile//> top-5 href=/profile//> players, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> only href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> prospect href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> team. href=/profile//> Already href=/profile//> invited href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Senior href=/profile//> National href=/profile//> Team, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 6-8 href=/profile//> forward href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> rare href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> best href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor. href=/profile//> When href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> out, href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Greek href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> paralyzed. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> smooth, href=/profile//> quick, href=/profile//> passionate href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> sides href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor, href=/profile//> hitting href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> crucial href=/profile//> shots href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> needed href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> to. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> forward href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> trying href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> feed href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> center, href=/profile//> Mavrokefalidis, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> results, href=/profile//> especially href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 1st href=/profile//> half. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> decent href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> able href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> keep href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> opponents href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> defense. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> slashing href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> good, href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> outside href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> above href=/profile//> average href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> all-around href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> close href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> complete. href=/profile//> In href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> moments, href=/profile//> though, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> seemed href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> overestimate href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> abilities, href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> resulted href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> responsible href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game's href=/profile//> fatal href=/profile//> plays href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> end. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 22 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> 7/15 href=/profile//> FGs, href=/profile//> 6 href=/profile//> rebounds href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> blocks. href=/profile//> Next href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> year href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Euroleague href=/profile//> experience href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Olympiakos, href=/profile//> along href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Seibutis. href=/profile//>

Vassiliadis, href=/profile//> Greece’s href=/profile//> star href=/profile//> player, href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> exactly href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> bad href=/profile//> day, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> there href=/profile//> were href=/profile//> moments href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> double href=/profile//> teamed, href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> without href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ball. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> better href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 5/13 href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> finished href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> probably href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> proved href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> somewhat href=/profile//> contain href=/profile//> him. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> gifted href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> player, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> shows href=/profile//> neither href=/profile//> explosive href=/profile//> nor href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ability href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> dominate href=/profile//> production href=/profile//> wise href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> hurts href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> potential. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> European href=/profile//> SG href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> making, href=/profile//> though. href=/profile//>

Mavrokefalidis, href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> positive href=/profile//> surprise href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Greece href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> center, href=/profile//> although href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> 6-10 href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> PF. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> looked href=/profile//> like href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> dominant href=/profile//> big href=/profile//> man href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> betrayed href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> physical href=/profile//> condition href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> not-so-solid href=/profile//> back-up, href=/profile//> St. href=/profile//> Louis' href=/profile//> Ian href=/profile//> Vouyoukas. href=/profile//> Mavrokefalidis href=/profile//> showed href=/profile//> smart href=/profile//> decision href=/profile//> making, href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> confidence href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> touch href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> time href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> short href=/profile//> career. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> superb href=/profile//> defensively, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> outplayed href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Lithuanian href=/profile//> bigs href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 4th href=/profile//> quarter, href=/profile//> losing href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> rebounds. href=/profile//> Along href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> Vassiliadis, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> ended href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> All-tournament href=/profile//> Team.

 
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